Ocean Cleanup Solar Cruise Ship Design Sea Vacuum (see video below) – With a design resembling a cruise ship or perhaps more like the vintage Seattle ferry MV Kalakala, the Ocean Cleanup, a non-government engineering environmental organization, that develops technology to extract plastic pollution from the oceans, was founded by Dutch teen Boyan Slat, 16, from the Netherlands.
Since the ‘ships’ don’t actually commercially transport passengers or cargo with a need for a radio with emergency communications, they don’t have an MMSI Number. Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) is a unique 9 digit number that is assigned to a (Digital Selective Calling) DSC radio or an automatic identification system (AIS) unit.
Boyan Slat was scuba diving in Greece and was surprised to see more plastic than fish. What surprised him even more, after digging deeper into the plastic pollution problem, was no one had made serious attempts to combat this issue.
The Ocean Cleanup raises $2.2m thanks to the support of 38,000 people from 160 countries, becoming the most successful non-profit crowdfunding campaign to date. A total of 2,154,282 USD was raised, making it “the most successful non-profit crowdfunding campaign in history” at the time, according to the crowdfunding platform ABN AMRO’s SEEDS, who facilitated the campaign.
Slat learned that 80% of river plastic stems from 1000 rivers in five major plastic accumulation zones in the world where ocean currents converge. These accumulation zones are commonly called “garbage patches”. Such as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. Marine debris is litter that ends up in oceans, seas, and other large bodies of water. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, also known as the Pacific trash vortex, spans waters from the West Coast of North America to Japan.
The vast majority of ocean plastic will not go away by itself but instead slowly break down into microplastics. After a year of experimenting with ideas and simple tests, Boyan came up with the idea to develop a passive concentration system. Slat envisioned to use the ocean currents to his advantage, and let them be the driving force behind catching and concentrating the plastic. Instead of going after the plastic, you could let the plastic come to you.
After graduating from high school, Boyan Slat was invited to present his initial idea at a TEDx conference in 2012.
The Interceptor is The Ocean Cleanup’s answer for river plastic waste. It is the first scalable, 100% solar-powered ‘ship’, extracts plastic autonomously, and is capable of operating in the majority of the world’s most polluting rivers. The Interceptor solution is to prevent plastics from entering the world’s oceans from rivers.
On July 24, 2015, Research Vessel MV Ocean Starr (MMSI: 367122000) left San Francisco, heading straight into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. During 30 days at sea, the Mega Expedition’s mothership helped to find out how much plastic is in our oceans.
On June 22, 2016, the barrier to the test in the open ocean for the first time. The North Sea was a great test environment, due to its strong tidal currents, and short, steep wave patterns. The Ocean Cleanup deployed a 100 meter-long barrier segment in the North Sea, 23 km off the coast of The Netherlands. It was the first time the design was put to the test in open waters and the tests conducted gave valuable insights.
The first ‘ship’ was Interceptor™ 1.0, followed by Interceptor™ 2.0.
Chris Worp, who had been with the organization as Business Director Extraction since February 2019, will be assuming day-to-day management of the 85-person team as Managing Director. In this position, he will work closely with founder and CEO Boyan Slat, who will continue to focus his role on the overall strategy and the development of our technology. Chris will join Lonneke Holierhoek, Jos Huijbregts and Boyan in the Management Team of The Ocean Cleanup.
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Video: Ocean Clean-up (Playlist: 24 videos)